Holly sat at her desk staring at the smart phone lying in the middle of all her work clutter. She was debating, disputing, contemplating with herself, until finally reaching a conclusion that there was absolutely no reason not to call and ask. She slid her hand to the phone, spinning it around with her finger a few times before finally snatching it up and dialing Gail's number.
The cop picked up on the first ring, "I was just thinking about you."
"Did you find a dead body?"
Laughing out loud, "No dead bodies yet, but I am riding with Dov today and there is no guarantee I won't kill him this shift."
"What exactly were you thinking about then?" inquires the doctor.
Gail shifts her eyes over to Epstein, who is totally listening to every word she is saying, "
"Oh, that is something I am happy to show you later, it's no problem at all."
"Hmm, someone can't talk right now, eh? Well, I have a question for you and I want you to have time to think about it. No big deal if you can't or don't want to go I totally understand. I hate these kind of things, but I need to go to this one, it's important and I am expected to be there…"
Gail abruptly cuts her off, "Yes."
"Yes, I will go to your fancy event with you." Gail says unwrapping a piece of gum from its foil.
Shoving the minty stick in her mouth, "Yep, but you have to make some more of those Nana cookies."
"Unlimited supplies can be arranged! It's next Saturday; do you think that will work out with the thing you're doing?"
"Holly, you have to at least be able to say it."
"'Under the Covers', how about I call it that? It just sounds nicer."
"Hmm, sounds like a pick up line to me, Stewart.", Gail plays with the foil remains from her gum, "Hey, I have to go but yes, it should all work out fine. "
Holly can tell Gail has a smile on her face, "Perfect, now I just might be looking forward to this thing after all. Have a good day officer."
"You too, I will talk to you later."
Dov does not speak for several minutes and Gail thinks to herself that she sure in the hell is not offering anything up for discussion regarding the phone call that just ended in his presence.
"So, that was your old friend?" Dov finally blurts out.
Gail fiddles with the knob on the radio.
"That's it? That is all you have to say? You were giggly Gail, I just heard you giggle."
"So? Has the all-powerful Epstein suddenly declared being happy a felony and no one wrote it on a sticky note for me? Just remember I would be sharing a cell with your girlfriend who pretty much farts sunshine, Dov."
Riding back to the station happened in complete silence neither of them speaking another word.
Sam is perched on the corner of a desk in the Guns and Gangs office pointing to a photo pinned to the cork board, "There is a lot in play here, and we need this to work in order to get us to Sal Controni where the stakes are much higher and we can get our hands on the intel for how exactly the drugs are getting into this country. He has successfully smuggled 8 metric tons of cocaine to date into Canada."
Gail is looking over her notes one more time, she feels confident in her ability to fit in, to remember the specific details of the bio they have created for her, the run down on key players and what to do if there is a misstep.
"So, no wire Peck. You will go in with a burner cell but they will probably confiscate it fairly quickly. We have a guy on the inside, he is the set-up man, who knows you through a connection in the US, you have the reputation for moving large quantities of heroin and cocaine across countries. You will know it's him because he has "untouchable" tattooed on the left side of his neck. "
"Yeah, well he got it proving his loyalty to these thugs so let's hope you don't come back with "ice princess" tattooed on your forehead." Sam throws a dimpled grin her way as he continues on, "you will have a firearm, it's a DB 380 about as far away from a cop's gun as you can get. It is untraceable by anyone but us, it looks like it has been stolen, serial number is scratched off." Handing her the weapon, "I want you to take it to the range tonight and again tomorrow, get a feel for it Gail. I want you to be really comfortable handling it, you will not be hiding it, you will holster it and you have to sell them on the fact that this has been your weapon for a while. It may end up being your lifeline. "
Blowing out the breath she has been holding, "It's a 6+1 so am I carrying an extra mag with me?"
"Nope, you got seven shots if you need them. There is always a chance they are going to strip the gun from you, so no reason to have to explain if you would get caught with the extra ammo."
"Any other questions?"
"We leave Monday afternoon; if everything goes as planned we are out by Thursday night, Friday at the latest?"
"You know the drill; there are no guarantees on an undercover op like this. Do you have somewhere else to be?
Sliding out of her chair, "Nope, just need to find someone to feed my cat, while I am gone Sammy."
Yelling after her as she walks out the door, "You don't have a cat, Peck!"
Gail walks down the hall to the entrance of the morgue, she has already ducked into the bathroom making sure she is not a mess and semi-presentable before she pops in on Holly at her workplace for the second time. Only this time the cop is not in uniform and is secretly praying Holly is there so Gail can avoid another awkward exchange with Rodney.
Gail sees the doctor before she reaches the glass door and it stops her mid step. Wearing powder blue drawstring scrubs and a matching v neck shirt under her white coat, she is seated at the desk in the morgue looking through charts, her hair is pulled on top of her head and there is a pen stuck through the center. Her glasses have crept down just a bit as she taps a finger on her top lip, deep in thought over whatever was occupying the space in her beautiful mind.
Sticking her head in as she slowly opens the door, "Hey, is it okay if I come in?"
The paperwork falls from her hands, "Of course! Well this is a nice surprise." Walking toward each other until the space between them has disappeared.
"Hi." Holly whispers as she pulls Gail into her.
"Mmm, well hello, Dr. Stewart." Looking suspiciously around the space, "Are we alone?" Holly's eyes do not move from the locked gaze they hold on the sea of blue before her, she simply shakes her head yes.
Throwing out the challenge, "Then you should probably kiss me."
Holly walks Gail backwards until she is up against the stainless steel countertop next to the sink; the doctor's body pushed firmly against her. Holly kisses the blonde's cheek, and then pulls her mouth next to Gail's ear whispering, "Perhaps this is what you were thinking about earlier?"
Pushing back, Gail's mouth answers with a feverish response as her tongue slides into the places it has yet to discover inside Holly's mouth. The kiss is drenched with every thread of passion that weaves through them both as they melt together. Holly finally breaks away gasping for air.
Gail raises one eyebrow nervously biting at her bottom lip, "That is actually what I was thinking about earlier."
"Wow, well I certainly admire how you put your thoughts into action…" Holly wipes her mouth with the back of her hand …"that is pretty remarkable officer."
Tracing her finger along the V of Holly's scrub top, "I have to go prep some things for work, but I was wondering if I could come over tonight. I talked to Sam and we leave on Monday afternoon, so you have me for two more nights… if you want me."
Holly's stomach flips at the pause in the proposed question. She can't stop herself, the words ooze from her mouth as she licks her lips, "Trust me when I say, I want you."
Gail finds Traci back at the station in the women's locker room shuffling through her duffel bag and tossing out a string of frustration, "Damn, damn, damn."
Gail straddles the bench, "Is this duffle bag causing you grief? Cause I can totally take it down for you…."
"Ha, no but if you could find Leo's report card that I am supposed to sign, I will make you a detective."
Gail lies back on the bench, "Hey Trac, I need to tell you something."
"Okay, I am all ears.", as she stops digging around in the mesh bag.
"I am seeing someone."
"You are? Well, that is great Gail."
Silence for a moment until Gail finds her footing, until the voice in her head gives permission.
"You sorta know the person… I am seeing Holly."
Smiling at the sound of Holly's name, "Yep that is the one."
"Well, she is fabulous!"
Gail shakes her head in affirmation, not moving from her position.
Traci scoots over, and kicks Gail's foot in a playful way, "Hey, I am really happy for you. I think Holly is amazing, brilliant and c'mon she is totally hawt."
"Who knew, hawt, nerdy doctors are my thing. Listen, I need a favor if it's not too much trouble."
"We leave for the Controni bust on Monday, and Holly is a little anxious, I thought I would write her a note each day and was wondering if you would mind getting those to her. I also was hoping you could keep her in the loop, if something happens or the bust goes long; just to make sure she knows, okay?"
Traci watches Gail's eyes as she talks about Holly, and she is truly taken aback seeing this side of Gail. They have shared some pretty intimate moments over the last few years, especially when Jerry died, but this is new. "Of course I will. I am happy to keep her in the loop, and make sure the notes are delivered each day. You guys are only scheduled to be gone for three night's right?"
"Yep, that is the plan, stan. " Gail pulls herself up off the bench. "Thank you Trac, I really appreciate this, I want to tell Steve myself so if this could be between us until I get a chance to talk to him that would be most excellent."
"Of course, I won't say a word; you should be the one to tell Steve. Gail, I am your friend, you know I am always here. You just have to ask."
"I know." with a quick smile, Gail disappears from the room.
The cop spends over 2 hours at the range, in an intense rendezvous with her new illicit firearm. She feels comfortable with the gun, she feels confident with the intel, the operation and her cover, but for the first time in her life she feels uneasy about leaving. On the drive to Holly's she selfishly wishes she could just stay put, and spend her time getting lost in what is quickly becoming her very favorite pastime.
Standing at Holly's door with a bottle of Borolo in her hand that cost more than the shoes she is currently wearing, she sees a note taped to the door with her name scribbled on it. She flips the piece of paper open reading the simple instructions to, "Come around back."
Traipsing around the side yard to find Holly at the grill, small tea candles floating in glass bowls filled with water spread out on an old wooden farm table with plates and wine glasses at the ready.
"Why does your place always smell so delicious?"
Turning to Gail with giant tongs in her hand, "Because I have this notion that the way to your heart involves good food and many, many baked goods."
Gail kisses Holly on the lips, then goes back for another before responding, "Mmm, You are a very fast study, Dr. Stewart. " One more kiss is stolen from the doctor's lips, "I brought wine."
"It's perfect, will go great alongside the homemade pizza on the grill with prosciutto, figs and leeks, I also threw together a caesar salad."
Gail eyes Holly waiting for the most important part, "Dessert?"
"How do you feel about salted caramel Gelato?" Holly asks tending to the grill. She suddenly feels hands slide around her waist. "I feel very, very good about it. I feel very good about a lot of things Holly."
Holly turns around to find Gail's smile breathtaking, she flings her arms around the blonde's neck, running her hands through her short cropped hair, gently pulling forward until their mouths meet. The kisses they share have become somewhat familiar, effortless in their connection, and in no time at all hands are roaming freely finding electric bare skin which become a puckered goose bump playground as they begin to explore uncharted territories.
Holly searches for Gail's hands bringing them up to her mouth, kissing each one, "You know I want this, I want all of this but let's slow down a bit, okay. If we keep this up the pizza is going to look like a hockey puck."
Gail kisses Holly one more time, letting her lips linger for a second longer than she intended, "I feel like I am a 17 year old boy…just so you know."
"It's pretty amazing, eh?" She smiles at Gail not sure how she could possibly have gotten this lucky.
Gail grabs the bottle of wine, "Should I open this? What can I do?"
"Yes please, if you would open and pour I will grab the pizza and we can eat, salad is already on the table."
The feast is spread out before them; Gail is starving but finds herself skeptical of figs on a pizza. She feels the same way about fruit on pizza as she does fruit on donuts, it's an offense that should be punishable by jail time. She shoves a slice in her mouth anyway, and closes her eyes.
"What is it with you and food Stewart? This is unreal."
"Oh, don't' think I didn't see you giving it the crook-eye before. I figured you were secretly hoping I had extra Gelato."
Taking a sip of her wine, "Holly this is like crazy good. Thank you very much for making dinner."
Holly clinks her glass to Gail's, "Anytime."
"So how is the Downsview case coming? You looked pretty engrossed this afternoon at the lab; I am assuming it was that case."
Swallowing her wine, "Yeah, I have been working on it non-stop. I am so close to making a connection between the victims and all three of the suspects. It's is really like putting a puzzle together on a molecular level. In a bizarre way it will give me something to keep my mind busy while you are gone, and for that I am grateful."
Gail dishes herself out more salad, and grabs another piece of pizza as Holly smiles over her wine glass. Still chewing Gail blurts out, "so I talked to Traci today."
"Yep, she was very cool, called you 'hawt' and said she would make sure to check in with you while I was gone."
Wiping her mouth, "Well now, that is not embarrassing at all."
"The woman speaks the truth, Holly."
Holly nonchalantly throws the question out there like she was asking about tomorrow's weather, "So how much can you tell me about what you will be doing under cover?"
Gail raises her eyebrows and pushes the salad around on her plate, "Well, not much actually."
"Holly. C'mon, you know I can't and it's not that I don't want to tell you, and it has nothing to do with trust, you know that right? It's ingrained in us, plus I would never put you at risk by having you know that kind of information. You know I trust you, I ate fruit on pizza for god's sake."
"I am sorry, Gail. I know it's your job, it's just really hard not knowing anything, especially when it's dangerous."
Gail captures Holly's index finger with her own, gently rubbing her thumb over it, "I wish I didn't have to go, I really do. Do you have any idea how much I love spending time with you?
Holly's eyes are wet but she smiles at Gail's words, "You just like the food."
Standing while keeping ahold of Holly's hand she walks herself around the table pulling the doctor to her feet, "I like lots of things."
"Do you like Gelato?" Holly teases.
"It's okay, but there are other things I would rather taste." Gail whispers into Holly's neck, with her breath hot on the mocha skin in front of her.
"Holly, I want to feel you. I want to be close to you."
Holly pulls Gail inside the French doors leading to the house. "I am going to get the Gelato, there is a fire going in the living room, make yourself comfortable."
Holly grabs the small container from the freezer, one spoon, and makes her way to the living room, only to find Gail has indeed made herself comfortable… on the floor, in front of the fire. Several decorative pillows are scattered about as well as two soft throws from the couch which are now spread out across the floor along with one stunningly beautiful blonde who is lying on her side watching the crackling fire in front of her. Holly just stands there staring, until Gail turns around catching her unable to move in her pool of melting gelato desire.
"Look a picnic kinda happened while you were gone!"
"I see that." Holly hands Gail the container and joins her on the floor, lying parallel to the cop and setting the spoon between them.
Neither woman moves a muscle. Gail is not sure what to do next, she wants more than anything to touch Holly but there is an undercurrent of delicious anticipation coursing all around them.
"I am freaking out a little. I am not sure what I am supposed to do here."
"Gail, there are no rules; you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. It's just me and you. We decide."
Gail slides her hand over to Holly's and the bridge to one another is built. Holly pulls Gail to her, face to face through the flickering of illumination they see each other fully for the first time without words and without walls.
The pulsing heartbeats become kisses and those kisses lead to a tangled dance of fingers finding flesh, buttons come undone, fabric is pushed off shoulders and lips leave tiny scars of tenderness and want all along skin. They both seemed to know where the line lives; honoring it without question knowing this is part of the journey.
Holly is tracing free flowing forms on Gail's luminous skin with her fingertips stopping at the small of her back leaving one simple kiss there, "I have something for you."
"Is it melty ice cream?"
"No though I am pretty sure I can provide that as well."
Holly sits up and digs deep into the front pocket of her jeans.
Gail wraps a blanket around her naked upper body and sits up facing Holly.
"I am not sure if you can wear this while you are under the covers, but I wanted you to have it.", Holly reaches for Gail's hand holding up the silver chain dropping it into her palm.
"My dad was in the Canadian military, he fought in World War II, and was awarded the Victoria Cross when he was only one of three men from his platoon to make it back alive. Other than you he was the bravest person I have ever known, so I thought you might like to have it while you are gone. I like the idea of him watching over you." Holly's eyes seek out the safe blue waters of the woman before her, exposing her fears as the tears drip down the doctor's cheeks.
Gail kisses each of the teardrops away, tasting the sweet salty heartache that seeps from the woman who has just stolen her heart.
"Holly, this is an amazing part of yourself that you're entrusting to me. I promise to bring it back to you, thank you for sharing a part of your Dad with me."
Foreheads tilt together, lips engage in a slow lazy undemanding kiss that reaffirms what their hearts already know.
They sleep together that night, with their jeans on, shirts off, wrapped up with blankets lying in front of a dying fire, tangled up in each other, well on their way to falling in love.